A reader asks:
Can you expand on this a little? I'm interested to know why you prefer Blu-ray.
In one word: Capacity.
Currently dual-layer HD-DVDs top out at 30 GB whereas dual-layer Blu-ray discs can store 50 GB. This leads to two, likely, advantages for Blu-ray.
1. Better Quality for Movies
Blu-ray can use a higher data rate for video and audio on its discs which should theoretically result in better quality. Of course, most people might not be able to tell the difference because (a) they don't have the top-notch video and audio setup (b) it's just tough to judge the quality at that level.
Even if Blu-ray manufacturers decide to use the exact same data rate as HD-DVD, they then have space left over for more extras: a DTS-HD track in addition to the Dolby Digital already present, a foreign language audio track, more interviews, documentaries, etc.
So far for every two HD-DVD movies sold, the Blu-ray camp has cashed on three.
2. Excellent for Data Storage
The information that I've gathered over the years -- school documents, photos, music, movie trailers, ebooks, numerous software programs (all free and legal, I think) -- can fit on a single 50 GB Blu-ray disc. I can backup and transport my "core system" in just one disc!
News from less than three months ago:
Hitachi has developed a prototype four layer Blu-Ray disc capable of holding 100GB of data.
Hitachi is claiming that current Blu-ray players need only a firmware update to play these monsters. With such an advance Blu-ray movies can be packed with even more goodies.
It's a win-win.
One might ask: Why are some companies even bothering with HD-DVD?
The production cost for HD-DVD players and the discs themselves is lower than the Blu-ray side. The cheapest HD-DVD player goes for under $100 whereas the least pricey Blu-ray player is still around $300.
I think that Blu-ray is a better format than HD-DVD. Though, I'll be content if any one of them loses and dies out by summer 2009. I want to buy one optical drive for my computer setup then and I want it to be reasonably future-proof.